THEN … 1978
In 1978 my husband, our three children and I moved South from New York. Jobs were scarce in the area so I felt relieved to get one in the ER of our local hospital. It wasn’t my “dream” job but it was full time and provided us with much needed health insurance.
As it turned out I ended up spending 23 years in the ER ! I would work with the Dr’s and nurses … ordering lab work and tests, etc. Looking back on that time it amazes me how casual it was. Almost everyone smoked and the medical personnel would be exhaling smoke as they entered a patient’s room.
It was around the mid 80’s when one of the MD’s (who specializes in pulmonary diseases) started to complain. At first he was laughed at (especially when he warned us of second-hand smoke) but he kept at it ruthlessly.
The first things to go were the ash trays in the ER ! Then, little by little the powers to be started to rally behind him and by the mid 90’s all smoking was banned inside the hospital, including in the cafeteria.
However, when I retired in 2001 they still had designated smoking areas outside at perhaps 20 different locations …
NOW ... 2010
Today I visited a sick friend at the hospital and I was really pleased to see this sign. HALLELUJIA !! The entire hospital, inside and out, is smoke-free.
THANKS, DR. COLLINS ...